Middlebury
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HARC0306

Medieval Manuscripts

Materiality and Meaning in Medieval Manuscripts
Before the invention of the printing press in the middle of the fifteenth century, all books were written by hand, a manual process that informed the term “manuscript.” The most luxurious of medieval manuscripts were illuminated with all manner of images, and these, along with the books themselves, were often understood as embodiments of divine wisdom. In this seminar we will consider medieval manuscripts as artworks and study the history of medieval manuscript illumination. Along the way, we will analyze the functions of various types of texts, learn about the rich relationships between text and image, consider the emergence of silent reading, and study the diverse audiences for medieval books. Over the course of the roughly one thousand years that we will cover in this course, we will see the book change from a mysterious receptacle of sacred wisdom to a commodity created for a mass market. 3 hrs. sem.
Subject:
History of Art & Architecture
Department:
History of Art & Architecture
Division:
Humanities
Requirements Fulfilled:
ART EUR

Sections

Fall 2014

HARC0306A-F14 Seminar (Garrison)